Kevin Sbraga's latest Southern-thinking venture, The Fat Ham.
The Fat Ham | Kevin Sbraga is going west (as in West Philly) with his latest Southern-thinking venture, The Fat Ham. And while the “bones” of this place might be down-home, the menu is full of Sbraga innovation, like potato-chip-crusted macaroni and cheese, Carolina Gold rice with Sea Island peas and oxtails, and country-fried lobster tail, the Sbraga restaurant dish that started it all. Behind the bar there are are plenty of brown spirits as well as a few draft cocktails and a craft beer list that focuses on brews from south of the Mason-Dixon line. Mon.-Thu., 5-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 5-11 p.m.; 3131 Walnut St., 215-735-1914, fat-ham.com.
Rosa Blanca | Jose Garces has transformed the former home of Chifa into a shiny new Cuban diner. The fare is Miami approved from milky-sweet, pulled-to-order cortaditos to flaky guava-and-cheese pastries to a mean Cuban sandwich. It’s also worth a mention that Rosa Blanca opens every morning at 7 a.m. for desayunos Cubanos, and the kitchen goes until last call on weekends for late-night empanadas and cocktails. Mon.-Thu. and Sun., 7 a.m.-midnight; Fri.-Sat., 7 a.m.-2 a.m; 707 Chestnut St., 215-925-5555, rosablancadiner.com.
Avance | The storied space that housed Le Bec-Fin for so many years has been entirely rehauled to make way for Avance. The sleek space is the ideal canvas for Michelin-starred chef Justin Bogle to roll out his forward-thinking menu, combining elements of molecular gastronomy and loads of local producers. Opening highlights include arctic char with apple and fennel, an oh-so-in-fashion brassicas plate and a killer lamb burger available in the cozy bar along with some serious wines by the glass and kitchen-inspired cocktails. Tue.-Sat., 5-10 p.m., 1523 Walnut St., 215-405-0700, avancephiladelphia.com.
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